Sydney-bound Hongkongers can travel on giant new A380
Danny Mok and Dennis Eng
Hongkongers will have a chance to fly on the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger airliner, if they fly to Singapore and then to Sydney on Singapore Airlines.
An A380 was set to be handed over to the airline at a ceremony next month at Airbus' headquarters in Toulouse, France, the airline said yesterday.
The double-deck, four-engined jumbo airliner will fly to Changi Airport within a few days of delivery and is scheduled to make its first flight - SQ380 - to Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport on October 25. It will return to Singapore the next day.
The aircraft has 471 seats in three classes: economy, business and its new suites, which the airline bills as a 'class beyond first'.
More A380s would fly on the Sydney route soon after the first flight, the airline said.
A charity auction of seats on the first flight will be held on eBay from August 27 to September 10. It will be for single, double and multiple seats in each class. All seats will be sold on a one-way basis, so a round-trip journey will require two bids.
The proceeds from the auction will be donated to Singapore's Community Chest and to two Sydney children's hospitals. Medecins Sans Frontieres is also a beneficiary.
Chew Choon Seng, the airline's chief executive officer, said the delivery would be a milestone for the airline industry. 'The first flight promises to be one of the most exciting occasions in aviation history.'
Deborah Biber, an Australian and a frequent flier, said she was excited about the prospect of travelling on the A380 but did not see the need to bid for a seat to be among the first.
'I think it's great. It's living history,' she said. 'But I fly back and forth a lot, so I know I will eventually be on the plane.'
The A380 will be at Hong Kong's inaugural Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress early next month.